The two wines we tried last Friday night were not very impressive, despite being lauded by wine critics or having a premium price tag. One white, the Huber Family Selection Gruner Veltliner, was from Asda and had been greatly recommended as typical of its style by a national newspaper. (I honestly can’t remember who.) The price was £6. The red, Gruyere, a Mac Forbes Pinot Noir from the Wine Society cost considerably more at £29, so the disappointment was greater.
The GV’s colour was greenish, clear, bright whilst showing some degree of alcohol. Its nose was dumb, faintly citrussy with none of the white pepper aromas typical of the grape. The heavy mouth feel turned quickly into a cloying style and, after a sweet fruit start, was rather hard. Superficially attractive it soon bored and became quite ordinary.
[Richard: agree with all of this, nowhere near refined enough to be a recommendable Gruner Veltliner.]
The Yarra Valley red had a slight haze and a distinct brown tinge. The delicate strawberry nose had both sweetness and a vegetative quality which promised a good wine. But, on tasting, the wine was short, lacking in depth and, to be frank, a touch sour. There was no promise of improvement and, at £29, was just not worth the price paid.
[Richard: the disappointment was compounded by the fact that this wine was found in the WS Fine Wine Room in Stevenage. Mac Forbes has a good name for Australian pinot and I had high hopes for this – not realised. The was a peculiar, rather synthetic aroma in the bottom of the glass as well as the sour taste. The closure was an Ardea seal, never previously encountered, which may be a coincidence. However I’m pleased to say that the WS have refunded the cost.]
Useful benchmarks both but neither good wines.